CBI questions 3 accused associated with Adarsh sacm

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Mumbai, Feb 3 (PTI) CBI today grilled three main accusedincluding a Congress leader and a retired Army official in theAdarsh housing scam, six days after it registered a caseagainst former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and 12others.

The three -- Adarsh society''s general secretary R CThakur, retired Brigadier M M Wanchoo and Congress leader K LGidwani -- were questioned at the CBI office here at Colaba.

The agency confronted them with documents seized duringsearches on January 30, a day after registering the caseagainst the 13 accused.

According to the FIR, Thakur and Wanchoo allegedlyconspired with others to illegally get the land alloted infavour of Adarsh Cooperative Housing society in which theywere members. The 31-storey building with 103 flats wasoriginally meant for Kargil heroes and and their families.

Later, Gidwani also allegedly used his personalinfluence with the public servants to lure them withmembership in lieu of favours.

Gidwani told reporters "we were issued notices yesterdayasking us to remain present before the CBI. We are beingquestioned...I am co-operating with the agency." Gidwani saidhe had not yet thought of filing an anticipatory bail plea.

Senior officials from the Defence Estate Office werealso called for verification of the documents seized duringthe searches on January 30.

In a related development, the CBI is also now planningto quiz former Deputy Secretary of Urban DevelopmentDepartment P V Deshmukh after the agency claimed to haverecovered Rs 23 lakh from his residence during the searches.

"Apart from certain documents, hard disk and laptop, werecovered Rs 23 lakh from Deshmukh''s residence here," a CBIofficial said.

Two months after initiating a preliminary inquiry, CBIhad on January 29 registered an FIR against 13 people,including Chavan, retired army officials, bureaucrats andstate government officials on charges of criminal conspiracy,fraud and misuse of their official powers.

Soon after registration of the FIR, the agency conductedsearches at the premises of Thakur, Wanchoo, Gidwaniand suspended state information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari -in various parts of Maharashtra and Bihar.

The 13 accused include six retired top army brass, fourex-IAS officers, two politicians and a former defence estatesofficer.

The FIR accuses the 13 of offences under the IndianPenal Code (IPC), like criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgeryfor the purpose of cheating and public servants using forgeddocuments as genuine. They have also been charged under thePrevention of Corruption Act.

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